Researchers at a Montreal university are using nanotechnology to combat cancer in the human body. This new method directly targets problem areas, potentially saving thousands of lives in the process.
One of Canada’s leading engineering schools, Polytechnique Montreal, revealed the successful manipulation of a tiny remote-controlled magnetic sphere that could travel through the body and deposit cancer treatment directly on the targeted area. In the study, a live animal with a situation comparable to liver cancer was used and treated. (Source: thesudburystar.com)
The traveling sphere used to dispense the life-saving medication is made out of magnetic nanoparticles and biodegradable polymer.
Healthy Tissue Not Harmed in Treatment Process
Its importance in targeting the tumor or cancer tissue is not only that the cancerous cells would receive a stronger blast of medicine, but also ensures that healthy tissue in the body is not harmed in the process.
If the cancer medication is taken orally, for example, it undertakes a long journey through the body before reaching the problem area — in this case, the liver.
While researchers cannot guarantee that the magnetic sphere has the power to cure cancer, they can at least attest to the fact that the patient will suffer far fewer debilitating side-effects in the treatment process.
Amazing still is the fact that the nanoparticles of the micro carriers measure just 50 micrometers in diameter, which is less than a human hair follicle. They also act as tiny magnets, which is why an upgraded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is able to act as a remote control, guiding the sphere through a living body. (Source: computerworld.com)
Nanotechnology More Prevalent in Recent Years
The presence of nanotechnology in the medical field (especially as it relates to cancer treatment) has increased in the past few years.
In late 2009, researchers at Stanford University announced that nanotechnology and magnetics were used to create a biosensor designated to detect cancer in its earliest stages, making the subsequent course of action that much more effective.
With such positive strides made in recent times, and the optimism for what cancer treatment options will exist in the future, many are holding out hope for something never before dreamed possible: an end to cancer in our lifetime.